Columns, Not to Get Political But, Opinion

Donald Trump’s NATO threats need to stop | Not to Get Political But

Former President Donald Trump revealed on Feb. 10 that when he was in office, he told leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to countries that did not make certain military payments.

It was unclear whether this spending dispute postulated by Trump was about unpaid debt to NATO or certain countries not “meeting spending commitments to their own militaries,” according to the New York Times

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

Trump doubled down on his initial comments at a rally in South Carolina on Wednesday, saying “if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect,” according to the Guardian.

Regardless of what payments Trump was referring to, the fact that he would essentially threaten to “sick” Russia on United States’ allies — whom he called “delinquent” — is seriously concerning. 

Trump has been known to use fear-mongering and bullying tactics to advance his political agenda. 

Since he first ran for president, Trump has targeted his opponents with insults and derogatory nicknames, from his 2016 opponent “Crooked Hillary” Clinton to 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom he referred to as “Pocahontas.”

But after he was elected to office, Trump’s behavior grew to be much more dangerous than these silly playground insults — escalating in 2020.

In September 2020, Trump referenced the Proud Boys, a right-wing white supremacist group, at the first presidential debate, telling them to “stand back and stand by” after being asked to condemn white supremacists — essentially avoiding the question and telling the group to wait for their moment to strike. 

And of course, there’s the Jan. 6 insurrection of 2021, when a mob of armed Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to inhibit Congress’ certification of the 2020 election votes. I don’t care that his trial hasn’t been decided: Trump incited that coup — an attack on American democracy.

All of these actions have instilled fear in the American people. 

Voters in 2016 feared the unknown when a political novice Trump displayed unconventional rhetorical tactics and a lack of decorum toward his opponents.

Black Americans had reason to fear impending attacks from the Proud Boys after fighting to make their voices heard in protests after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Legislators feared for their lives in the Capitol building as Trump supporters invaded, and citizens began to fear for the future of their country under an autocratic, near-dictatorial Trump rule.

Thus, Trump’s threats to encourage Russian aggression toward NATO countries are unsurprising — however, it’s quite scary.

Trump isn’t just using his fear-mongering tactics on American citizens this time. He’s using them on other countries — some of which are allies of the United States.

Plus, Russia is a threat to the U.S. and other countries in its own right. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a dictator who Trump sucks up to, and Russia has been a growing threat to national security — from interfering in the 2016 presidential election to working on developing nuclear weapons in space.

But even Putin called Trump’s remarks “threat mongering” in an interview with Tucker Carlson. 

For Putin, of all people, to call out Trump’s fear-mongering behaviors is bewildering to me, and it’s incredibly indicative of how off-his-rocker Trump is.

All that being said, I can’t help but hope that Trump’s unsettling statements struck a nerve with pro-democracy — though I think everyone should be pro-democracy — voters.

President Joe Biden has been under scrutiny as of late by voters questioning his age and whether he displays memory issues that would impair his ability to serve another four-year term. This discourse has taken away from Trump and his concerning actions.

I hope Trump’s remarks took a necessary amount of attention off Biden. He may not remember a second term if he’s reelected, but at least he’s not going to threaten our allies and the institution of democracy as a whole.

Maybe I can “encourage” voters “to do whatever the hell they want” to keep Trump out of the White House.

More Articles


  1. Get Trump out he is no good for U S A .he must be stopped.

  2. Well Lauren, I assume you’ll be voting for clueless , corrupt, incompetent Joe. However, your article does nothing to change my vote. I base my decision on policies, not hysteria and so called fear. This country was much better off fthree years ago domestically, internationally, socially,economically and much more secure under President Trump. That’s why half of the country loves him. We’ll have a new president in November. Relax, it will be fine.